Everyone likes to joke about Modern Warfare, Gears and Master Chief Collection being on the chonky side when it comes to download sizes. Well, now you can add another surprising beast to that list: Microsoft Flight Simulator.
We’ve talked a bit about how damn pretty Microsoft Flight Simulator is looking, and a little bit about the streaming that pulls in satellite data and Bing Maps info as you fly. But that’s left a bit of a 747-sized elephant in the room: the amount of data you’ll need to actually download.
And the answer to that is, quite a lot. Aerosoft has announced on their official forums that they’ll be the European retail partner for Microsoft Flight Simulator‘s official release, which makes total sense given their background publishing flight sim hardware, sim games, and so on.
But the real bit of interesting news: If you’re buying a physical copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator, then expect your copy to arrive with 10 double-layer DVDs, which can store a maximum of 8.7GB each.
Aerosoft will bring the two boxed versions of this venerable simulator to customers in Europe. Including 10 (!) double-layer DVD’s and a printed manual in a spectacular box, it is an ideal way of entering the new age of flight simulation.
For the last few months, we have been working closely with the spirited team from Microsoft and the talented developers at Asobo. They have helped us in getting our add-ons ready for the new simulation platform and in a very small way our 27 years of experience assisted in creating this amazing simulator.
Obviously a maximum of 87GB doesn’t sound that bad, until you realise it’s 87GB you’re trying to install and decompress through the speed of an optical drive and not, say, SSD speeds. Users have already reported download sizes of around 100GB for the alpha version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, and so this is pretty much in line with that.
When pressed on what exactly the boxed versions of MFS shipped with, an Aerosoft product manager explained that retail copies would contain basically the core game files and “the world and aircraft delivered by Microsoft”.
Let me explain what the boxed version actually contains. Microsoft Flight Simulator (that’s the name, not FS2020) contains four major parts (Note the sizes are estimates from what we know at this moment.)
- The simulator code itself (the ‘sim’) that is around pretty small in size, this is a mandatory part of the sim.
- The world and aircraft delivered by Microsoft, (that content depends on the version (the ‘content’) that is around 90 GB, this is a mandatory part of the sim.
- Optional online streamed content (this is an optional part of the sim)
- 3rd party files (clearly fully optional)
Our DVD’s contains ‘all’ of part 2, apart from the updates Microsoft and Asobo do between the moment the the DVD’s are pressed and release. When you install, the sim will updates all files immediately form the servers and you will get the very latest code for the simulator itself and all content is updated. This is very much a simulator that depends on the cloud if you want to use it to its full potential. So the boxed version makes it possible for people on a slower internet connection to get the sim installed without downloading the ‘content’.
For those who don’t like cloud gaming, or enjoy the minimal amount of data games actually use when playing (as opposed to the install/download process), Microsoft Flight Simulator will completely upend that. If you’re wondering what the experience is like on a regular internet connection, the Aerosoft rep reckons it just meant it made for a perfect opportunity to grab a drinkL
“I have not seen ANY area that looks better with 3rd party photoreal add-ons then default MFS with downloaded content,” they wrote. “And yes that means I get get a glass of wine while the sim buffers. But with any connection over 25 MB you hardly notice it.”
What that means for Australians on the lowest NBN 25 connections, however, we don’t know. I’m looking forward to seeing the networking tests people run when the game’s closed beta kicks off on July 30.
Until then, enjoy more pretty landscapes courtesy of the official dev blog. They’re very cathartic.